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Caley Thistle head coach Billy Dodds stays upbeat after Championship draw at Dunfermline

Caley Thistle head coach Billy Dodds.
Caley Thistle head coach Billy Dodds.

Billy Dodds reckons Caley Thistle have every reason to remain upbeat in the Championship title hunt – after their 1-1 draw at Dunfermline moved them to within three points of top spot.

After watching his side draw 1-1 against struggling Dunfermline at East End Park, the Inverness head coach was determined to cast the light on the positives of the current numbers on the table.

Their four successive draw means they are three points behind pace-setters Arbroath, who were in Scottish Cup action, beating Darvel 3-0 at Gayfield.

A Shane Sutherland goal put ICT in front just before half-time, but a late Steven Lawless spot-kick earned John Hughes’ team a result to move off bottom spot, one point above Queen of the South.

Dodds said: “You can see how hard the players are working, but they are not getting the rewards of three points right now.

“People can spin stats, saying we had won three in 15, but we are also seven unbeaten in our last eight games. Overall, 10 wins and eight draws and four defeats from 22 games is us doing pretty well. We just need a couple of wins on the board.”

Debuts for Inverness loan captures

The former Scotland striker, who handed debuts from the bench to loanees Sam Pearson and Logan Chalmers, gave his opponents credit for earning a share of the spoils.

He said: “Fair play to Dunfermline. They are battling for everything. They changed their shape and had a real go at us.

“I thought we had weathered it, but they kept going and got the penalty and they felt they deserved their point.

Manny Duku (right) and Dunfermline’s on-loan Ross County defender Coll Donaldson.

“When John (Hughes) changed his shape, I thought I’d put two on and it was a bit of cat and mouse. We tried to get the ball to the players with pace, where we can hurt them, but Dunfermline never let up in the second half. We will take it on the chin and move on.”

Dodds calls for everyone to chip in

Twelve-goal forward Billy Mckay was missing through injury, while Danny Devine ended the day on crutches after he sustained an injury in the game.

With midfielders Roddy MacGregor and Aaron Doran also sidelined, the ICT boss is calling on his entire playing pool to make an impact when called upon.

He added: “It was a blow to lose Billy, but Manny Duku did well and gave us an hour of hard work and was a real threat to Dunfermline, so I was happy with that.

“Everybody is chipping in and that’s what’s going to be needed. We’ve got a few injuries and that’s what you need your squad for.”

Dodds confirmed he had no argument with the penalty decision after a Dan Pybus cross struck David Carson’s arm with 10 minutes to go.

ICT will seek to put more pressure on their promotion rivals next weekend when they go to Kilmarnock.

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